With ABA, HIPAA, and other compliance standards looming over law firms, it’s no question that the ethics behind how firms store their client data are extremely important. Although law firms store client data, the data itself is owned by the client, and if a firm’s client wants to switch to a new attorney, the firm has to transfer over all of their client data to the other counsel. As a result, law firms take on both the liability and responsibility that comes with protecting and storing said data, resulting in the question of whether hosting data on the cloud versus using in-office servers is ethical. Traditionally, lawyers spend a lot of money on technologies that protect their client data, however, this spending is often paired with a low level of technological understanding. So, even though firms shell out the cash in data security, they often may only have a data backup and an antivirus in place as safeguards, which is not enough in today’s technological climate.
In fact, Rekall Technologies has found that the data backups that firms utilize are often cheap and only backup your data for a short period of time. Additionally, many firms have never actually had to restore their data, and resultingly, do not know how long the process takes or if it even works. And this is all before we even look into the massive risks and drawbacks that come when firms use servers inside their office to store their data. Many firms use servers and don’t even know if the server itself is still under warranty or if it is going to go down. And because servers are housed in offices that often have questionable security (usually 1-2 locked doors serve as the only layer of protection between anyone and your server), firms are really putting their info security at a major risk.
So that brings us to the question of if office servers are so risky and outdated for data security purposes, what about the storing data on the cloud? Is that any less risky? What about the ethics behind this method of storage? It is prudent to note that protecting your data via the cloud is an infinitely safer method than using in-house servers, and the actual switch to the cloud itself is simple and easy, too. When you switch to a cloud provider such as Rekall Technologies, your data is managed by a company that manages other companies just like yours: your firm is assigned a dedicated onboarding specialist that migrates your data to the cloud seamlessly, and every user in your firm receives their own antivirus software, data backups, and gateway and enterprise level security. Not only do we implement these procedures, we also routinely monitor and test them to make sure they are working properly.
We’ve talked a lot about in-house servers, so how are cloud-based servers different? Well for one, your data is stored in two separate Tier III data facilities (based in New Jersey & Ohio) that feature military-grade security and 24/7 on-premise monitoring. Additionally, Rekall has invested $750,000 into our cloud platform, allowing your firm to have the best-in-class data protection, security, and encryption. This is in stark contrast to the protection measures put in place by the average law firm that merely gets a server and a firewall for their office. Simply put, not only is the cloud a more ethical way of storing and managing client data, it also infinitely lowers the risk that your firm takes on with every new client that you attain. It is certainly up to attorneys’ discretion as to how they want to protect their firm, but we’d say the decision is a no-brainer. Learn more about how a private cloud solution can benefit your firm here.